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tv   Headline News  RT  May 20, 2013 8:00pm-8:31pm EDT

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coming up on r t in the nation's capital protesters gather today in response to the massive amount of wrongful foreclosures that have resulted in thousands of american families losing their homes we'll tell you about that demonstration just ahead and the pentagon has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on an anthrax antidote stockpile all in preparation for a future of bio terrorist attacks but there's a major conflict of interest when it comes to who was actually awarded that contract more on that straight ahead and if you thought the a.p. d.o.j. scandal was the only case of the government going after journalists think again fox news now says its white house correspondent is now facing potential premeal charges for his story look at the chilling of the fourth estate later in the show.
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it's monday may twentieth eight pm in washington d.c. lopez and you are watching our t.v. well we begin tonight with breaking news out of oklahoma a massive tornado touched down in the suburbs of oklahoma city this afternoon the hardest hit area is the town of moore which is located in the southwestern part of that city at least four people have been killed including a mother and child numerous others have been injured the tornado was estimated to be at least two miles wide and it was at least an e.f. four with winds ranging from one hundred sixty six to two hundred miles per hour that's according to the national weather service hundreds of homes and two elementary schools fell in the tornado's path of destruction search and rescue teams are still in the process of locating numerous missing students oklahoma governor mary fallen has. actually declared
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a state of emergency for the sixteen counties that were affected by the storm oklahoma's tornado season begins in march and ends in late august each year so it is still relatively relatively early in the season and already hundreds of millions of dollars of damage have been inflicted with this one storm that hit tornado alley . well frustrated homeowners actually took to the streets of d.c. today to march on the department of justice they demanded accountability by the banks for a slew of wrongful foreclosures around one hundred activists from the home defenders league and the occupy our homes groups marched up constitution avenue today artie's own justin underhill actually attended today's protests and she joins me now for more hi there justin thank you so much for us for actually going to those protests for us and coming back here tonight so late the scene for us how many people were there what were they protesting and was it relatively peaceful there were several hundred people there and they were from all over the country i interviewed people from seattle from california from pittsburgh we saw
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a wide range of people and these were people that were either activists or victims of wrongful foreclosures and. they were fairly upset about the fact that there hasn't been a single banker or mortgage is sure that's face criminal jail time for the wrongful foreclosures or anything that's happened during the financial crisis one of the people that i talked to and hind she told me a little bit about her story of being wrongfully foreclosed on. they told me to get to become default on the loan and then i could do a modification but five days after the modification was submitted based to the sheriffs and the foreclosure process has begun and this is something that unfortunately happened quite often where people were told that they could qualify for a certain mortgage reduction program if they perhaps defaulted on some of their payments or didn't didn't issue their payments on time and then they were after they were told to do that then they were foreclosed on and this is something that happened time and time again and there hasn't been any accountability for some of these
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practices that have happened so a lot a lot of the protesters today they went to the department of justice they were demanding to see eric holder they were knocking on the door they actually were climbing some of the statues there and screaming his name. and they were willing to risk arrest and so far about seven thousand people were more have been have been arrested wow and it's just a massive protest obviously and i also understand that there's been a number of mortgage settlements that have actually happened recently can you break down a few of them for our viewers and tell them how it could affect them potentially ok well there's the last year there was the national mortgage settlement and that was a twenty five billion dollars settlement with several of the big banks and mortgage issuers now ten million of that went to mortgage reduction. programs and then about one point five billion of that went to people a fund that was for people that were wrongfully foreclosed on the more recently this year in january there was another independent foreclosure review and what that
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did was it investigated whether or not people there were mistakes made in the in the mortgage mortgages paperwork for people that were foreclosed on now that system became incredibly costly so what they decided to do was just have a settlement and that was for about three point six million dollars for people that were wrongfully foreclosed on or just people who were foreclosed on and it's been painful for some people because they've basically seen pennies on the dollar for this massive mistakes that have been made in their in their foreclosure process and so what does that mean for for everyone else that is kind of still facing these these crises well there hasn't been very much that's been done by the government to counteract some of these wrongful foreclosures that are still going on right now and one of the things that we've seen is there have been protections put in place but we're not it's not clear whether or not they've actually been effective what
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they have done is delayed the time from the start from the foreclosure notice to the foreclosure sale but it hasn't necessarily made consumer added to consumer rights so what about the wave of foreclosures that are in the pipeline what is this going to do to the market and talk about rates. so basically we've seen this delay this longer process for foreclosures and while we've seen a reduction recently in foreclosure sales we've seen an increase in foreclosure notices and that means that there's a wave of foreclosures that are ready to come on to the market because this process has been so delayed and so that could actually further decrease housing prices more recently in the past year we've seen up a trend up in housing prices but that could potentially dampen that and who is buying these these foreclosed houses do we know anything about well one of the biggest buyers are now our institutional investors so that's firms like blackstone group are now buying single family homes and then turning them into rental
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properties and basically and then what they do after that is they packaged into another firm and then sell these off as an i.p.o. so they're i.p.o. in a lot of these houses so it's not necessarily average families that are buying homes right now a lot of it is because of these bigger larger investors so bottom line just what should we take away from all of this information from the protests to the settlements what should we take away from this well there's still a lot more that needs to be done we haven't seen a lot of these people people are still in a huge amount of pain and of actually the little people so the average americans that are that have been suffering the most from from these foreclosures and they haven't seen their justice yet and that was the main point of the rally artie's just seen under hell reporting for us today from constitution avenue with all those protesters thank you justin thank you. on now to the close and sometimes conflicting ties between the government and private interests over the weekend the
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l.a. times printed investigative piece that talked about numerous government purchases of a drug known as. this is the drug that is the antidote to antibiotic resistant anthrax drugs in the wake of nine eleven the government dicta dedicated a huge sums of money to creating and stockpiling biodefense drugs but here's where the conflict of interest comes in the presidential adviser who played a key role in pushing the government toward this decision also was profiting off these drugs he was the director of the human genome sciences in the company that actually earned three hundred thirty four million dollars in government contracts sounds a result so how did former navy secretary richard danzig get away with all of this well earlier today i spoke to michael brooks he's a producer at the majority report and he explained more about this alleged conflict of interest it's very hard to understand how it wouldn't be you know best case scenario if you have these sort of dual roles as
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a public policy adviser and then you have direct financial interests in what you're devising about you would disclose that fact and he vaguely disclosed his interest on certain occasions and on other occasions didn't disclose that at all in fact some people that the l.a. times spoke with who had been advised by him had no idea even up until the point of the article being published his financial stakes in this vaccine in this drug it's used now u.s. intelligence agencies have never established that a nation or terrorist group has ever made or shown any interest in making in this antibiotic resistant anthrax based weapon so why haven't we spent three hundred thirty four million dollars of government money on this medicine to cure this antibiotic resistant anthrax if no one chance shown any interest in creating it. well i think you know there's a couple of different aspects that you know this is after september eleventh the
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kind of shock of the terrorist events and then following that there was. not. resistant anthrax letters sent to different congressional offices so there was a lot of fear at this time. around two thousand to two thousand and three two thousand and four around the development of chemical biological weapons by terrorist groups so that's the context and then we turn to experts like mr danzig who said this is something that we really got to be worried about in his capacity as a policy adviser without disclosing his financial interests so we kind of rushed headlong into these really unskillful and strategic spending choices based off of the fear of the moment and the conflict of interest driven advice of policy experts like that and it is something that the government continues to spend money on but the government isn't. the only customer for this drug for this particular company which
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mr danzig was the director of the end of the purchase was the first major purchase for that company in their company is human genome sciences inc as well so how does this play into the conflict of interest allegations i mean obviously has to play something into it. and look that's a great i think most startup entrepreneurs would love if their first cell could be to a single customer for that type of figure i think it's incredibly questionable in the whole. policy process of having a guy who serves on advisory boards who has a lot of policy expertise and then directly having an undisclosed financial stake that just can't be driven home enough it's incredibly questionable and the contract reflects just how problematic it is like you say absolutely can you go a little bit more into detail about richard danzig and his qualifications to be an adviser to the president on these matters. i mean this is part of the problem right
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his qualifications are great he has served he was secretary of the navy i believe under president clinton he also served in the carter administration he served on a number of policy boards related to bioterrorism. then senator obama when he was first running for president so he is a well trained successful guy with a lot of credibility on these issues which he's used to cash in on and of course that's very reflective of you know d.c. as a whole there's nothing unique to him about this now three hundred thirty four million dollars might sound like a lot of money to you and me but to the government mean it's really just a drop of the hat they spend trillions of dollars after every year after all can you talk about the impact that this money actually means to the federal government . i mean i think you're right that it doesn't really mean much in and of itself in the context of the entirety of spending and i could see some people saying you know
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why not invest this type of relatively small so even if there is just a fraction of the chance of something as horrifying as. resistant anthrax being released on the other hand this is symptomatic of so many relationships like this and so many ways that policy is skewed. that you. it's a real symbol of a larger problem do you think that this is just an example as you say sample of a larger problem are there seems that we're just not learning about right now that keep happening and we're just digging in order to discover these kinds of conflicts of interest there is a culture in washington d.c. people talk about lobbying that's you know very clear example or the kind of revolving door of government but there's also people like mr danziger who are real like policy experts and they sell their wares in the private market and are still moving in the public sector seamlessly and you see this across
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a lot of policy areas including several other security areas like cyber security and other things like this it's very common it's very typical of d.c. and it's certainly a systemic problem well a systemic problem that's not even to mention all of the questions surrounding this type of antibiotic resistant antidote to anthrax michael brooks for producer of the majority report thank you for joining me thank you well if you are one of the five hundred million google users around the world then you know how intertwined the company is becoming with your online life one company holds the key to your internet purchases your e-mails your chats and your connections to others and that's only the beginning google is continually inventing new products to make users lives more easy but becoming more and more a part of them in the process are to correspondent margaret howell takes a look at google by the numbers. is google trying to take the world over well the
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multinational corporation has become an active part of the average internet users digital life but just how much has this company become ingrained we'll let's break it down by the numbers four hundred twenty five million now in june of two thousand and twelve that's the number of users google announced use g.-mail the company's e-mail service during the goals annual io developer conference and this year one hundred and ninety million people are active on google's new social media platform google plus now take a look at this number nine hundred million well that's the number of activated android smartphones so far the google for right end of the smartphone arena has quickly gained user traction now to put that into perspective the company also announced an active smartphone user base of one hundred million all downloading custom apps so what's the catch will those buying those apps from google for their android purchase do it directly from the developer now this means that their
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personal usage information is recorded with every buy but only for billion tax purposes of course. seven hundred fifty million that's the number of people using google's web browser chrome an incredible number on its own but coupled with the company's newly launched google now and then a new feature that scans your e-mails and tries to keep up with your online life keeping it straight will it might be expect too much of the privacy front which brings me to this number twenty two point five million that's how much google was forced to pay in two thousand and twelve after being accused of violating a user consent order by placing tracking cookies on safari users despite them telling those users that they would be opted out of such tracking well the company called that an honest mistake so that leaves us with one question as a user is are we vulnerable and are we ok with how much we're giving up for convenience sake for all this cool new technology on their part. so wilson pledging
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privacy in transparency for years releasing those quarterly transparency reports saying transparency is a core value at google as a company we feel it's our responsibility to ensure that we maximize transparency around the flow of information related to our tools and services. so as the company can ten years to expand we'll see just how they get to know us in washington margaret howell r t well lawmakers are back on capitol hill this week debating new versions of the agriculture reform food and jobs act of two thousand and thirteen better known as the farm bill the house and senate are taking up separate legislations but both planned to cut billions from this year's bill budget those cuts would come mostly from the supplemental nutrition assistance program which provides food credits for the poor meaning that congress is penny pinching actually could hit the pockets of americans on food stamps in a major way the house bill would cut some twenty point five billion dollars from
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food stamps over the next decade while the senate version would cut just about four point one billion dollars a report by the center on budget and policy priorities said the cuts in the food stamp program could eliminate two million people from the program two hundred and ten thousand of them would be children also on the chopping block the so-called monsanto protection act senator jeff merkley has promised to introduce an amendment to repeal the special exemption actually granted to the biotech industry in last march's continuing resolution spending bill the farm bill hasn't yet been authorized since two thousand and eight and lobbyists and big agro businesses are working hard to make sure that they get their fill from the trough will keep an eye on this story as it passes through the halls of capitol hill. still ahead here on r t the government snooping on journalists goes beyond a.p. other journalists are also saying that they have received extra stroup scrutiny by the u.s. government more after the break. well
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a little over a week ago the associated press discovered its phone records were taken by the justice department in an investigation over the leaks of classified information in the weeks since viewers and readers witnessed a media blitz in defense of the fourth estate this battle is far from over it turns out that this is not the first time that the government has taken media phone records in two thousand and nine fox news chief washington correspondent james
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rosen had his personal e-mails actually searched by the state department for a story that he wrote about north korea to discuss the d.o.j. scandal along with some of the other cases and what it means for press freedom in the u.s. i was joined earlier by josh gerstein he's the white house reporter for politico and i started off by asking him why the a.p. d.o.j. case is getting so much attention if it's not the first one that journalists have actually been sought after. well in the case of the justice department peace situation i think the reason it's gaining so much attention is primarily the breadth of the search that the justice department you know spanning something on the order of twenty phone lines used by the associated press which they piece says may have been used by as many as one hundred journalists there's reports that it included their main phone line or one of their me on lines in the house gallery of the house of representatives which could be used by just about any journalist in
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the a.p.s. washington bureau maybe even some from other bureaus so i think it's the breadth of the search and it's also the manner in which the government went about it to just go and take the records and then tell the a.p. afterwards it's a pretty unusual step when the government has tried to do these things in the past they have sometimes sometimes but not always notify the news organization in advance and given them the opportunity to fight the issue out in court now just yesterday the c.e.o. of the if he appeared on face the nation condemning the d.o.j. as investigation and he says that he is he is already experiencing some type of a chilling effect in that his reporters are experiencing that as well with potential sources as well as regular interview we is there hasn't to speak to him are we seeing the future of journalism e r. yeah i think there is no question that we are seeing a chill put on journalism by these activities though i have to say experience sources or knowledgeable sources would not have come to learn about this or been
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chilled by what's happened just in the last few weeks the really sensitive sources have known for some time that there's a very aggressive campaign going on with the justice department within the obama administration to root out those who are leaking into to kill or classified national security information and they would have been well aware of that fact long before these stories broke out in the press in the last couple days so let's talk about the case that i was speaking about earlier about a fox correspondent james rosen who is facing potential criminal charges as a coconspirator for what seems like normal journalistic practice he spoke to a source inside of the government to obtain information the investigation resulted in and rosenstein e-mail and correspondence records being polled by the d.o.j. and even has movements at the state department were trying to via his key card this all happened back in two thousand and nine but the washington post reported on these potential problems just last night so talk about this event in particular well what's really interesting here is what you said at the beginning it's not so much that i think anyone thinks that rosen is likely to be prosecuted in connection
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with this episode but the justice department did make that as an argument in trying to get into rosen's telephone records to get a search warrant from sorry for his e-mail records they made the argument that he had potential criminal liability in this case he could be considered a coconspirator with the individual who worked at the state department who was allegedly is source he could also be considered to have aided and abetted a crime by sort of encouraging this person to provide him with information and what's troubling about that argument is as you say the tactics that he used a many of them are very typical for reporters i think the affidavit here talks about the use of flattery towards the source in order to get him to give up information and as some reporters have been saying today that to call. and we are all guilty there's also the allegation from a k.m.o.v. anchor or by the name of larry connors he alleged that the i.r.s. was targeting him after he had a rather contentious interview with president obama about the economy but his sense
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back tracked to say that the i.r.s. started auditing on him actually two years prior to that interview the question really isn't over his case specifically but do you see something like this like an i.r.s. audit as a possibility to freeze on journalists no i really don't i mean i think that what we're seeing in the ira scandal up to this point is really a lack of supervision by sort of higher authorities i mean i suppose it's theoretically possible a low level official to take action for any reason but in terms of it being directed by the white house the problem that they have developed with direct here was actually that the white house wasn't doing enough to make sure that this was being responsibly managed and not that they were micromanaging these sort of unwise decisions being made by lower level people there and finally josh where journalists go from here do we buy pay as you go phones and adopt a more secretive approach of handling sources and information in general and if so is that ethical. i think journalists when they're dealing with very sensitive
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information are going to have to do that they're going to have to rely on in person meeting we're going to have to take account of the fact that when you swipe in or out of a government building that somebody may be able to track that you know from other cases that the government has told journalists credit reports that they've told journalists travel and probably their frequent flyer records so reporters that are covering sensitive information do need to be aware that they're going to have to take pretty extraordinary precautions to protect their sources and i think the stories need to be aware that as well thank you for taking the time i had a to give us a little bit more insight on that that was political white house reporter josh bernstein while global corporations say more likely to be concerned with our bottom line rather than their sense of patriotism from shipping jobs overseas to seeking out tax havens and even lobbying congress as difficult to determine where companies draw the line when it comes to profits from war and what some are calling the age of corporate treason the residents lori her finessed. with.
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ralph nader made a bold statement recently in an article titled the age of corporate treason he asserted that big global u.s. corporations are unpatriotic then in terms of having right let's take a look at the proof points he offered to back up this the last time this claim was charlie first he pointed to the large corporations habit of not paying taxes they hire fleets of accountants and working streamline hard to not pay taxes ok because he's seen as an. patriotic then he points to how these mega corporations
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have abandoned us workers shipping jobs and whole industries overseas to countries that are run by fascist regime which keep their workers near serfdom. yeah that certainly does sound unbathed riyad ic next major point to the freezing of the federal minimum wage at seven twenty five an hour leaving thirty million workers with a paycheck that is less than they made in nineteen sixty eight when you account for inflation pushing wages of workers backwards you have that doesn't doesn't sound very patriotic of them his next supporting argument is the fact that big corporations hired legions of lobbyists who share one goal make laws that benefit them and that directly weaken or abolish consumer worker
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and environmental safety and health laws stop and think about that for a second they really do that. that sounds pretty damn on patriotic need or goes on to say how if you charge corporations with being unpatriotic they go to huge lengths to tell you how screwed up that is they make t.v. commercials that hire actors like tommy lee jones or just regular old americans like me or you standing in a field where m.g.'s to tell you just how god a star an american and patriotic they are out if they were so patriotic what they have to sell us so hard on and. nater summarizes his article by pointing out how big u.s. corporations have been trying to assert that they are people too ok so if an american human beings were to pay no taxes pay a few pennies to workers in a fascist country to make their products hand out cash to lawmakers to try to get
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them to write rules that benefit them and directly through their neighbors we have only one word for them when we call them unpatriotic majors right americans we most definitely are living in the age of corporate treason tonight let's talk about that by following me on twitter at the ribbon. that does it for now if you missed any part of today's episode you are in luck we post all of our interviews online in full just go to youtube dot com slash r t america and for the latest and greatest information coming out of all the stories that we cover today and a few others from around your world that we just didn't have time to get to check out our web site that's r t dot com slash usa our web cam is always working hard and don't forget to leave your comments stories suggestions and feedback we're
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curious to see what you want us to cover follow me on twitter at meghan underscore lopez and have a great night. good afternoon and welcome to prime interest i'm perry i'm boring here in washington d.c. and here's the story that i've been tracking today. we are now versed and everything in corn although you can't talk to the digital president her and the producer bob inglis and i flew out of san jose over the weekend and reached out to the eleven one hundred ten b.'s and sponsors for the first major bitcoin conference we have several interviews from bitcoin millionaires and best there is and developers that will be sharing over the next few weeks today we're going to feature the c.e.o. of instant charlie will explain just how do you see it is to buy it quickly moving on those who are facing foreclosure by wells fargo and citi group.


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